Why I’m confused by some unionist politicans


Sometimes I am baffled by unionist spokespeople. Try as I might, I can’t quite understand if they believe in the argument they are advancing, in which case they singularly misinformed on  the rules of rational thought, or they don’t believe the argument they are advancing, in which case they are being hypocritical and assuming the rest of us are fools and won’t notice their hypocrisy.

Let me take two examples from recent days – one relating to Michelle O’Neill and one to Jeremy Corbyn.

Michelle O’Neill  last week signed the book of condolences for the people who died in the Manchester bombing. For this she was condemned by unionist politicians. She was being hypocritical, since the IRA at one point in the Troubles had bombed Manchester, and Michelle had recently attended and spoken at a commemoration ceremony for the IRA volunteers killed at Loughgall.


Some questions.


  1. If Michelle O’Neill had not signed the book of condolence, what would the reaction have been among unionists? I’d suggest they’d have denounced her as being stony-hearted and clearly in favour of bombing public places.
  2. Was Tom Elliott, a man fighting (metaphorically) for his political life in F/ST, correct when he declared “Either it is wrong to detonate bombs in cities or it is not.” ?

I’d suggest that from anyone other than a pacifist, that is a truly daft statement, and since he has worn a UDR uniform, I’d suggest that Tom is not a pacifist. I’d also suggest that Tom would, with a sad shake of the head, agree that the bombing of Germany cities such as Dresden during the Second World War was right. He might even believe that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was right. Which leaves Tom’s “Either it is wrong to detonate bombs in cities or it is not” looking embarrassingly bare of logic.


  1. Did Robin Swann believe he was speaking out in defence of naked truth when he declared Jeremy Corbyn unfit to be British prime minister because while “Jeremy Corby and his acolytes were running around holding hands with Gerry Adams, the IRA was murdering members of the party which I now lead”?

Alas, his statement is denuded of the fact that, as Danny Morrison has recently tweeted, “Future Home Secretary Douglas Hurd met Gerry A and myself in Ballymurphy in 1977, seven years before Jeremy Corbyn first came to Belfast.” Was Hurd too hand-holding, or maybe seeking an end to the violence? Robin’s response also glides around a second uncomfortable truth: the British army, sometimes directly and sometimes through acts of collusion, was killing dozens of innocent Irish people.

As I started by saying, some unionist politicians show either a dismayingly feeble grasp of rational argument or a cynical use of selective moral outrage.


28 Responses to Why I’m confused by some unionist politicans

  1. Mark May 28, 2017 at 1:43 pm #

    Who’s the one on the right?
    the latest, wee Arlene does not expect a ‘border poll’ I prefer plebiscite, (the meaning today has shifted from what it was when I was at school, it then was, a vote which the result of was almost certain) in her lifetime.
    Queer since, she’s a bit younger than me and I wholly expect it, and the result to be in favour of re-unification.

  2. pjdorrian May 28, 2017 at 2:01 pm #

    By their logic it was hypocritical of the British Govt to extend condolences to the bereaved since it was an English Govt that ordered the Peterloo Massacre in the same city

  3. billy May 28, 2017 at 2:14 pm #

    maybe seeking an end to the violence?..corbyn is whats known here as a balloon,imagine him as pm and that thing abbot as home secretary,they are calling on voters to let more of the enemy into england and ireland instead of the other way about.swanns right on this one definitely not pm material.

    • Sherdy May 28, 2017 at 5:32 pm #

      ‘That thing Abbott’ – Jude, is this acceptable?

      • billy May 28, 2017 at 6:15 pm #

        old trout,ect,ect all seem acceptable even in blogs,so i thought it was fine.

        • Ernesider May 28, 2017 at 7:57 pm #

          Well to me Billy that is about as disgusting as it gets .. And if you can’t see that you’ve got a big problem ..!!

    • Colmán May 29, 2017 at 2:56 am #

      Who’s ‘the enemy’ Billy?

  4. Ryan May 28, 2017 at 2:43 pm #

    “As I started by saying, some unionist politicians show either a dismayingly feeble grasp of rational argument or a cynical use of selective moral outrage”

    I was reading an article about the SDLP’s Seamus Mallon in the Belfast Telegraph today and he says that we have to start looking to the future for the sake of our children instead of constantly referring to the past, which he called “remembering”. I agree with Mallon when he says that everyone here is brilliant at remembering and refusing to let go of the past, whether its 1916 or 1690.

    I think Unionist politicians are experts at remembering. They constantly remember what their forefathers beliefs, views and stance were and seek to share it, despite it being from a totally different era. There’s no attempt to reason, empathize and understand the position of others, especially republicans. Because that’s what daddy, granda and great grandda would’ve did. It doesn’t matter about the facts because anyone killed by the security forces were either guilty or it was all the IRA’s fault ultimately anyway.

    I believe its due to history is why Unionist politicians behave the way they behave. They are basically living in the past.

    I have regularly read comments from Unionists on facebook who rant about IRA atrocities (whilst strangely being silent on UVF/British Army atrocities) then sign off their comments with “Never Forgive or Forget”. I read recently about the Orange Order leaving a wreath in memory of protestants being murdered in the early 1600’s at a bridge. Of course the Orange Order and Unionists always refer to 1690. But all this was CENTURIES ago but these people treat it as if its just a few years ago, and of course they completely ignore the atrocities committed by their own people, they even celebrate them, especially the Ulster Plantation.

    Its a backwardness, hypocrisy and a refusal to go forward with others that is the problem with most Unionist politicians. Unionist politicians had to be dragged kicking and screaming to where they are today. Indeed the UUP Leader even said the first IRA ceasefire was “the worst thing that could’ve happened”.

  5. Daniel Moran May 28, 2017 at 3:11 pm #

    If unionism finds itself on June 8th with similar outcome as march 2nd with SF closing in on their demographic turf, then with Stormont still mothballed in 2021, the centenary celebrations might be somewhat forlorn..

  6. moser May 28, 2017 at 3:14 pm #

    Unionism and rational thought is an oxymoron. If you want to find yourself stuck in a perpetual political maze then, just keep trying to reason with unionists: it ain’t going to happen ! The solution is to be found in England. Unionism is the enemy of nationalism. And I do mean enemy. They are not are friends. Why keep hoping for some love and tenderness from them? Or, that some day the key to the lock of their “mind forged manacles” will be found through reasoned debate. We are exactly where England wants us to be: in a political quagmire. Don’t appeal to the British conservative party, But to the good people of England. Their imperialist ancestors stole our country. They need to give it back !

    • billy May 28, 2017 at 3:47 pm #

      why would the good people of england listen to people who wont join them in the fight against the common enemy,the biggest threat to the country since ww2.

      • moser May 28, 2017 at 4:24 pm #

        Billy, young men from Ireland went of to help England in the first world war. I won’t tell you the rest.

      • Colmán May 29, 2017 at 2:58 am #

        ‘the common enemy’ what on earth are you talking about Billy?

  7. ben madigan May 28, 2017 at 3:17 pm #

    “some unionist politicians show either a dismayingly feeble grasp of rational argument ”

    Is that why there’s no convincing, positive case for the Union?

  8. michael c May 28, 2017 at 3:37 pm #

    Why is Elliott sitting inside a tractor wheel?

  9. Pointis May 28, 2017 at 4:29 pm #

    I am afraid Michael c, wheel never know!

  10. Pointis May 28, 2017 at 4:48 pm #

    I think the likes of Elliott and Swan could do with a real good session with a counsellor there is a raft of issues that I am sure would be uncovered.

    I think these people see empathy as a weakness (known as Lundyism).

    Their lack of empathy could also mean they are further along the autism spectrum than most. This would also help explain their very rigid black and white (good / bad) thinking.

  11. michael c May 28, 2017 at 5:14 pm #

    Maybe Tom’s TYRED!

    • Pointis May 29, 2017 at 9:44 am #

      Well his policies and rhetoric are tyred and he would turn your head listening to him!

  12. TheHist May 28, 2017 at 7:13 pm #

    I don’t see what the fuss is about. The British government constantly maintained open channels with the IRA during the Troubles. Martin McGuinness in a Feile event a few years back stated that these channels with the British Government had been ongoing during the Troubles and were important for what Culminated in the peace process. As far back as 1971 Harold Wilson secretly met with the IRA in Dublin and did so again a year leader in London. In 1972, the worst year of the Troubles, senior IRA men, Martin McGuinness, Gerry Adams, Daithi O’Conaill, Sean Mac Stiofain, Seamus Twomey and Ivor Bell met Willie Whitelaw in Cheyne Walk. In 1974 and 1975 senior Labour Party officials met Sinn Fein leaders “on a regular basis at a large house outside Belfast.” In 1978, Douglas Hurd met with Gerry Adams. They contacts remained throughout the 1980’s. Even in the early 1990’s John Mayor approved a secret communication chain between his government and the IRA. What aren’t Unionist politicians exposing all of these links. Oh that’s right …. there’s an up and coming election.

    • Gerard Mc Kay May 29, 2017 at 10:07 am #

      Dear Hist, I love reading your comments, but I’m afraid your entire thrust gets lost in the poor spelling throughout.

      • TheHist May 29, 2017 at 10:29 am #

        I totally agree, Gerard. I was typing this whilst in the middle of a conversation about same. But no excuses for grammar and spelling errors.

        • Ernesider May 29, 2017 at 1:48 pm #

          Language is about communication. Beyond that essential all else is pedantic prickery* and petty snobbery ..!!

          *the behaviour and opinions of a prick …

          • Scott Rutherford May 29, 2017 at 1:54 pm #

            Indeed Ernesider. In the case grammar it really should be he without sin throw the first stone.

          • Stephen Kelly May 29, 2017 at 6:29 pm #

            Ernesider May 29, 2017

            So very well put, well done i am going to save this one. LOL Prickery great. Thanks for the laugh.

            Language is about communication. Beyond that essential all else is pedantic prickery* and petty snobbery ..!!

            *the behaviour and opinions of a prick

  13. ANOTHER JUDE May 29, 2017 at 5:18 am #

    Their political and religious views are outdated and nasty. They know their place in the so called UK is easily the most vulnerable. Their loyalty to the English throne will remain as long as that throne remains anti Catholic. Hardly surprising then to find they are stuck in the past. Major Tom was a member of the grotesque UDR, an organisation responsible for terror.

  14. Eolach May 29, 2017 at 12:08 pm #

    Easily the most insecure people in Western Europe…..they were planted here as a garrison force against the native Irish, given their stolen lands and taught to hate beyond comprehension. They still have that bewildering, almost unintelligible, hatred and fear greatly that we would treat them the way the way that they treated us. They know that England will abandon them…..they know her perfidy and dishonesty ,for they have been part of it for centuries….. they just don’t know when. Their twisted logic and racial bigotry inhibits them from living as neighbours, caught between a rock and a hard place they don’t know where to turn. A kind word , a smile or a friendly gesture is always rebuffed with paranoid suspicion and unfortunately this paranoia will be their ultimate demise

  15. Ernesider May 29, 2017 at 2:27 pm #

    Yes Eolach
    “they were planted here as a garrison force against the native Irish, given their stolen lands and taught to hate beyond comprehension”

    Their brand of Christianity which they believe justifies their harsh, callous and pitiless treatment of the native Irish Catholic population does not conform to any of the teachings of Jesus Christ that I am aware of. However it always had the benefit of being financially profitable..!!